For properties with unique features or owners who want their backyards to be the talk of the town, DIY building a custom fence is the way to go. Plus, by building your own fence, you will save money on installation, and you’ll take pride in the accomplishment of making something that’s both functional and aesthetically enjoyable for years.
While some might intimidated by customizing a DIY fence, luckily customization is just a small part of the process. Building a fence can be easy, especially if you have a little guidance! By using standard materials and installation techniques, you can successfully build a beautiful fence that is uniquely your own! Here are some considerations to help you plan and build your custom fence.
Building a Fence on an Slope or Uneven Ground
One reason you may need to install a custom fence is because of the topography of your yard. Do you want to fence off a yard on a severe slope or a terraced property? Do you have a jagged border with your neighbor or old growth trees you want to avoid cutting down? Maybe that rock climbing wall you installed is at an awkward angle? Whatever the reason, here are some ideas to help you choose a customized fence solution for your sloped or uneven yard.
- A stepped fence works well for sloped ground. Each panel maintains a 90-degree angle, but the panels are connected in a step fashion: each panel will be slightly taller than the one next to it. While this solution does leave some gaps underneath the fence, those can be filled in with landscaping. A stepped fence is perfect for creating privacy or separation.
- A contoured fence works well with gentle hills or slopes to create a fence that hugs the ground. This option is also ideal if you have pets you want to corral, or if you want to keep small animals like rabbits out of your yard. Rather than being completely level on top, the fence may change in height depending on the ground beneath it.
- Rackable fence panels are a great option for slopes as well. With rackable panels, the pickets can move so that when you line the fence rails up with the ground, the pickets still run vertically. A fence that contours to fit your property gives your yard a more uniform look.
With any of these options, using pre-made fence panels is the easiest way to install your fence. While you will need to connect the panels at different heights for a stepped fence and may need to custom cut a contoured fence, the pre-made panels will save you the work of building and measuring your own panels from individual pickets. Check out How to Build a DIY Fence on a Slope for additional advice on fencing a steep section of your yard.
Making a Statement with Unique Fencing Materials
Building a customized fence in the suburbs is different than building one in town. It’s always a good idea to check what rules may apply to your property before starting your fencing project, including fence height restrictions, accepted types of fencing materials, and how far the fence can be from your property line. Since the Fence Authority installs a lot of fence around Pennsylvania, especially the West Chester, PA area, we have some advice on fencing requirements in PA as well as West Chester that you should check out before you begin installing your fence.
If you have free reign over your fence design, you can go wild! Aluminum fences are a great option since they mimic older wrought iron fences but are much more durable and weather-proof. Aluminum can be formed into contemporary designs for a modern home, or it can complement a Victorian home’s decorative gingerbread-style elements. You can also save quite a bit of money when you decided to install an aluminum fence yourself.
If you are looking for a wood or vinyl privacy fence with no spaces, there is still room for customization. The easiest element to make a unique statement is the post cap. While most people opt for post caps that match the color and style of the fence so they blend into the overall design, you can choose post caps in a different color or material. You can even find post caps with unique and helpful features like solar lighting.
To see what fences materials are available for purchase right now, visit our shop.
Adding Customization to a Fence After Installaion
If you want to add a bit of creativity to a plain fence that has already been installed, painting or staining are great options. Paints and stains can also help freshen up the look of a fence that is slightly worn or that has been around so long that it’s starting to bore you. With a little creativity, there’s a lot of ways you can easily jazz up your fence. Below are a few ideas:
- Add a pop of color by painting your fence! A wood fence can actually benefit from paint since the right kind of paint can help protect the wood. Stain can give your fence a richer look while a bright color can really make your fence stand out. Unlike wood, aluminum and vinyl fences are not great candidates for paint, which takes away one of their biggest benefits—being maintenance-free!
- Consider going with a theme for your backyard! Maybe instead of having a fence that stands out, you want your fence to be backdrop for the design of your backyard.
- Put your green thumb to good use by adding landscaping elements to make your backyard oasis complete. Fences can be a great structure to grow vines on too!